How to treat Grassland Weeds
The Winter has been unbelievably wet, but all being well things will balance out and we will see some sort of normality return this spring. The mild winter has meant many grassland weeds have grown for longer than they usually would - April is the time to consider grassland management and weed control of some key weeds.
Fight The Chickweed Menace NOW
Grass and weeds start to grow significantly when the soil temperature gets above about 6°C. However, some weeds, such as chickweed can use nitrogen in the soil very rapidly and can smother out grass very early in the season. Its prostrate growing habit allows it to rapidly colonise any gaps in the sward.
Chickweed will be found in established grassland, often in damaged swards or where slurry injectors open the sward allowing chickweed to get a hold. It is also the most common weed of new sown leys. It will aggressively compete with grass species for space, light, water and most importantly nutrients and so it needs to be controlled.
Individual chickweed plants can produce 1300 seeds and it only takes five to six weeks from germination to seed dispersal. Plants are capable of four to five generations a year and seed buried in soil can remain viable for up to 25 years. It’s a weed to control.
Use Envy®, which works at lower temperatures than other solutions (when the soil temperature is just 5°C. over a 24- hour period and rising) and can be sprayed from now until the end of November.
One of the two active ingredients in Envy allows it to work at cooler temperatures and when there are dramatic fluctuations between day and night.
This means, if ground conditions allow, it can be done now before the chickweed flowers and before it significantly impacts grass growth.
Envy can be used on chickweed at up to 2.0 l/ha in established grassland and at a lower 1.0 l/ha rate in newly sown leys. Controlling chickweed in young leys allows productive grasses to tiller out and spread across the ground, although over-seeding may be necessary in situations where chickweed has become strong and smothered larger areas. So, if chickweed is present, plan a spray! Envy has excellent grass safety, is rainfast in two hours and has a stock exclusion period of just seven days.
Envy is also an excellent herbicide for controlling buttercups and dandelions, but it will kill clover.